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From rights and laws to registering a partnership and tying the knot, we explain all you need to know about gay marriage in Switzerland. And, as of Decemberthis includes the legalization of gay marriage in Switzerland. This marked an important victory for same-sex couples in the country; especially as it came several years after most other western European states had already passed the law. That said, it also saw a fair amount of criticism. In fact, in Aprilopponents of gay marriage even gathered enough atures to force a binding referendum on the matter.
This referendumheld on 26 Septembersaw the Swiss vote overwhelmingly to confirm the rights of gay couples to marry. To help you navigate the rights around gay marriage in Switzerland, this guide covers the following:. Need to translate your marriage documents? You need the professionals at lingoking. On their easy-to-use online platform, you'll get access to their international network of 5, translation experts from around the world. Whether you need a one-off translation for your marriage documents or a dedicated interpretor for your new life abroad, you'll find the right professional for your needs on lingoking.
The history of gay marriage in Switzerland is relatively new. This covers everything from ensuring equal treatment before the law to deeming discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and identity illegal. That said, it has also had some serious catching up to do in terms of same-sex relationships.
The Swiss government recognized same-sex unions in and legalized same-sex marriage in December By comparison, the Netherlands first recognized gay unions in ; followed by France inEngland and Wales inand Germany in The passing of the new bill — which now includes wording that allows gay and lesbian couples to tie the knot — has been the result of multiple rounds of debate since It finally succeeded after a vote of to 48 with nine abstentions in the National Council lower house ; plus 24 to 11 with seven abstentions in the Council of States upper house.
But the recognition of gay marriage in Switzerland is also a result of shifting attitudes among Swiss people. Besides legalizing gay marriage in Switzerland, the amendment also grants lesbian couples access to sperm donation. This also extends the role of parent to the woman not carrying the. Furthermore, it allows same-sex couples that are currently in a registered partnership to convert their union into a marriage; thus opening up a whole new set of rights for both parties.
For a gay couple to tie the knot in Switzerland, both parties must be over 18 years old and have the capacity to consent. In addition, one or both individuals must be a Swiss national or reside in Switzerland. Unlike same-sex civil partnerships, marriage provides the rights to obtain citizenship and the t adoption of children.
For instance, marriage — hetero or gay — makes it easier for the parents of to be granted parental authority. Unmarried couples, on the other hand, must make a t written declaration in order to establish t parental authority.
With the new bill, lesbians can also access sperm donation. This represents a major change from the legislation in Switzerland. That specified that sperm donation was only allowed for married heterosexual couples; not for unmarried couples, singles, or homosexual couples. However, Operation Liberoa liberal political movement that launched in the aftermath of the Swiss immigration referendum in Octobercampaigned to keep the law in place. As a result, authorities expect that all its provisions should come into force by 1 July Attitudes and opinions towards gay marriage in Switzerland really vary, ranging from the progressive to the still extremely conservative; hence the controversy over the same-sex marriage bill.
Like in most Western countries, attitudes towards gay marriage in Switzerland differ depending on several factors. Shortly after voters backed an anti-gay discrimination law in Februarya survey by Pink Cross showed that four out of five people were in favor of extending the right to marry to same-sex couples. Such support is especially strong in cities like ZurichGenevaand Baselthe centers of gay life in Switzerland.
Despite this, gay individuals and couples continue to endure hostility from the most conservative factions of the country. They all look down on gay rights and campaigned against gay marriage. Sadly, this hostility has sometimes turned physical. Sexual orientation is no longer a burning issue in Switzerland, except for among some conservative religious groups which may demonstrate their opposition.
That said, they do so in a peaceful manner. The process that same-sex couples need to follow in order to tie the knot in Switzerland is not unlike that of heterosexual couples.
Here is an outline of that process. Gay couples planning to get married in Switzerland have to submit an application for preparation of marriage at the Registry Office where they intend to tie the knot. They must do this at least three months in advance of their wedding date. Besides the application form, the future newlyweds must also a special declaration concerning the conditions for the marriage. This declares that they meet the requirements for marriage; i.
They must also declare that the documents presented are up to date, complete, and true. The Civil Registrar then performs the marriage publicly in the town hall in the presence of two adult witnesses. You can find more information about the legal requirements and paperwork in our guide to weddings in Switzerland. Registering a same-sex partnership in Switzerland is fairly straightforward.
This includes the right to obtain citizenship and the t adoption of children. To register a same-sex partnership in Switzerland, the couple has to apply at the Civil Registry Office of their place of residence; or that of their partner. Depending on the circumstances, couples need to present different documents.
The Civil Registry Office can specify these and you can also find details on the information sheet on registered partnerships. Should they want to host their ceremony in a place other than their Civil Registry Office district, the couple can request so once their application has been processed. They must then follow this through within three months, with their identity documents and authorization in hand. At the end of the ceremony, the registrar will issue a deed of partnership, which the couple has to and can take home.
In some registry offices, it is also possible to exchange vows and rings after the official ceremony.
Notably, not all countries recognize gay marriages from other countries. Below is a list of countries that do and do not consider civil unions and registered partnerships made in Switzerland valid in their own country.
Currently, 31 of the 50 countries and the 8 dependent territories in Europe recognize some type of same-sex union. Most of them are members of the European Union. As it is part of the EU, Switzerland marriages are therefore valid in these countries, too. In addition, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovakia recognize same-sex marriages performed within the EU and grant legal residence to couples with an EU citizen. If you plan to take up residence in Switzerland after marrying or registering a partnership, bear in mind that your foreign spouse or partner will need a residence permit and may require an entry visa.
Of these, however, Croatia, Hungary, and Montenegro recognize same-sex partnerships, while Armenia recognizes same-sex marriages performed abroad. Have a cookie Expatica uses technology such as cookies and scripts to personalize content andprovide social media features, and analyze our traffic. You can of course change your mind and withdraw your consent at any time, by returning to this site after clearing the cookies on your computer or device. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. Which cookies and scripts are used and how they impact your visit is specified on the left.
You may change your settings at any time. Your choices will not impact your visit. NOTE: These settings will only apply to the browser and device you are currently using. Search for:. Gay marriage in Switzerland. Last update on September 30, Written by Marianna Cerini. To help you navigate the rights around gay marriage in Switzerland, this guide covers the following: Gay marriage in Switzerland The laws on gay marriage in Switzerland Attitudes towards gay marriage in Switzerland Getting married in Switzerland Registering a same-sex partnership in Switzerland Recognition of gay marriage by other countries Useful resources lingoking Need to translate your marriage documents?
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Gay marriage in Switzerland